How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Brandon, Esq. Your Own Question

Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1807
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
69271599
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Brandon, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, Im looking to get a bit of background on employment law,

Resolved Question:

Hi, I'm looking to get a bit of background on employment law, in particular to relocation clauses when you have signed a contract with a company. Of course the language of the contract is important but I was wondering if there are state related boundaries. Such as if move to a state for a particular job but you leave that job before the contract time and move your self out of state can the company still come after you for the relocation? Curious to know if the law changes on this state by state related issue or is it standard across the country? Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today.

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat.

Employment-LawExpert :

While the language of the contract would prevail, depending on the location of the company, and the choice of law clause, the legal actions one could take would greatly differ.

Customer:

Hi, ok yes, i'm online

Employment-LawExpert :

First, there could be a breach of contract claim (usually the same in each state) However, depending on the state, you may also have a breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, a breach of the public policy exception, a claim for promissory estoppel, or a breach of additional contracts such as those found in an employment manual or handbook.

Employment-LawExpert :

Do you want me to go into all of these? Or did you want to tailor your question down to be more specific?

Employment-LawExpert :

For example, only Texas law?

Customer:

Yes, I think we need to keep it focused on Texas as that is where I had worked for the company as was relocated to. I know a little bit about Illinois law in this regards XXXXX XXXXX familiar with Texas employment law.

Customer:

Do you want me to provide more background on the situation?

Employment-LawExpert :

Okay, in Texas, the language of the contract usually prevails, however, you are never required to pay back any money if you are not the one in breach (i.e. you are fired). Do you know if in the contract it states

Employment-LawExpert :

Yes, please provide me with a little more information. Specifically what it states in the contract relating to relocation costs

Customer:

Yes, it states payback to be either voluntary or not...it's harsh language but is it enforceable?

Customer:

I relocated from Illinois to Texas

Employment-LawExpert :

And I take it that you want to quit that company, correct, as if you are terminated there are numerous cases which would allow you to get out of it depending on the circumstances, regardless of the language, (which actually could void the entire contract)

Customer:

Yes, i resigned but I was compelled to do to hostile workplace that I have documented.

Customer:

I was suprised they decided to pursue me for the funds given the situation.

Employment-LawExpert :

Was the hostile work environment due to a protected category? Do you believe that you were "constructively terminated" Do you want me to go into more detail about what constructive termination is?

Customer:

Regardless, I know there are certain conditions that would side step the claim....such as in Illinois I know that if you move yourself out of state following leaving a company they can not chase you for the funds

Employment-LawExpert :

However, in this instance Texas law would be the law which would take place as that is where you left the company

Employment-LawExpert :

e.g. where you worked

Customer:

I left so that I did not have to go done the route of a hostile workplace. I'd rather go after if there are other loop holes

Customer:

ok, hummm....so following my resignation for said circumstances, I moved myself out of the state. Does this help?

Customer:

Can they pursue me in any state?

Employment-LawExpert :

So if you can show that the company was in breach, and not you, then you can easily get out of the contract.

Employment-LawExpert :

They can pursue you in any state but they must serve you.

Employment-LawExpert :

In the contract there is a choice of law clause. That clause will likely say texas.

Employment-LawExpert :

You can then argue that they must either follow 1) the choice of law clause, or 2) the location where the employment took place

Employment-LawExpert :

So, while they would have to serve you in Illinois, they would apply texas law

Employment-LawExpert :

But, constructive termination may have taken place here.

Employment-LawExpert :

Can you tell me more about this hostile work environment?

Customer:

Ah, got it.... Ok so how do I position it so that the company was in breach? Do I write them a letter stating the reasons in response the claim for repayment of relocation funds or is there another way?

Employment-LawExpert :

If they have not filed a lawsuit against you, and have just sent you a threatening letter, you can either 1) ignore it, or 2) write a letter as to why they were in breach.

Customer:

Sorry, your texting faster than I...trying to keep up, sorry

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX So the letter of breach, does that need to come from a lawyer or can I write it?

Employment-LawExpert :

Not a problem, please ask me to slow down if needed and I will be happy to do so. The underlying legal question here is whether something the employer did was a sufficiently material breach of your employment agreement to relieve you of your obligation to repay relocation costs.

Employment-LawExpert :

You can write it, however, if it comes from a lawyer, they are much less likely to pursue something that a lawyer has looked and is willing to write a letter on.

Customer:

Yes, got it. This is hard to prove I'm sure. However, i have it well documented with HR months prior of my struggle with the environment.

Employment-LawExpert :

That is usually the first step of constructive termination. That you tried to rectify the situation first with HR, and they did not help you in any way. In the end, a "reasonable person" (the legal standard) would have been no choice but to resign given the circumstances.

Customer:

Yes, that's exactly how I left and how I framed the situation

Customer:

HR pressed me to file a hostile work investigation, I said that was not something that I thought would help the situation given all my attempts to remedy prior.

Customer:

Ok, so I need to a lawyer to send a letter. Do you give recommendations for lawyers whom could help?

Employment-LawExpert :

Unfortunately, I cannot give you a direct referral as that would be against the terms of service of the site. However,


if you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.

Customer:

Ok, thanks for the source

Employment-LawExpert :

Not a problem. Have I fully answered your question today?

Customer:

One last question. Just so I cover all aspects. Back to the question with regards XXXXX XXXXX moving out of state, does this help me at all in Texas?

Employment-LawExpert :

Meaning the fact that you moved away from Texas?

Customer:

yes

Employment-LawExpert :

What county was it in? I want to make sure there are not specific county laws related to your question.

Employment-LawExpert :

The city will also be fine

Customer:

Houston

Customer:

The company is HP

Employment-LawExpert :

Houston case law does suggest that any agreement for repayment of more than 2 years would be deemed unconscionable and you would not have to pay back any amount after that time.

Employment-LawExpert :

Were you employed at that company for more than 2 years?

Customer:

I was there 6 months

Employment-LawExpert :

So, unfortunately, no the fact that it was Texas does not give you a particular benefit as it would had you moved away from Illinois

Customer:

I moved from Illinois to Texas but I did not move back to Illinois after I resigned, I moved to California

Customer:

I guess, it's clear I did not use the company to relocate me to a location. This is typically why they pursue individuals. I know in the past others have left like me but were not pursued.

Employment-LawExpert :

But you worked in Texas, correct?

Customer:

Yes, I worked in Texas for HP

Employment-LawExpert :

Unfortunately, it is entirely up to the discretion of the company in a situation like this. They look at 1) the likelihood that they will prevail, and 2) the desire to cause problems

Employment-LawExpert :

If you did not leave on good terms, the likelihood goes up

Employment-LawExpert :

If in your complaints to HR you did not reference a protected class, such as your race, age, gender, etc. the likelihood may also go up

Customer:

Yes, it's clear gender related

Customer:

Ok, but this is good info why they think they can get repayment

Employment-LawExpert :

Then it sounds like you would definitely have good grounds to send a letter referencing constructive termination and all of the numerous complaints you filed. Getting an attorney would definitely be the best way to go.

Employment-LawExpert :

As for why, if they have not actually filed a lawsuit against you, then it is possible they are doing this to be obnoxious, as that stage of the determination will not be based on repayment.

Employment-LawExpert :

Otherwise, they would be banking on the fact that you never stated "complaint of gender discrimination" to them, but rather just mentioned the incidences, that would sound more like general incidences of bullying.

Employment-LawExpert :

When you speak to an attorney, you may also want to consider talking to them about filing a claim against the company with the EEOC for gender discrimnation.

Customer:

They have sent an email demanding repayment with a past due notice. According to the description I have 30 days to remedy. After that I guess they could sue me. I guess it would be best to send a letter prior

Employment-LawExpert :

As you may end up with front pay, back pay, and emotional damages.

Employment-LawExpert :

That would be the best way to deal with it yes.

Employment-LawExpert :

Because if an attorney does not feel they have strong grounds to win a lawsuit, they will not bring one as it will cost the company significantly more to try a faulty case (and wind up in sanctions for the attorney)

Customer:

Ok, as you mentioned the diferences between general bullying and gender, where do you draw the line?

Employment-LawExpert :

Unfortunately, courts have made a rather ridiculous differentiation in this matter. The simple matter is that if you said that you were discriminated against because of your gender, this would qualify. Then, all of the treatment would fall under that category.

Employment-LawExpert :

However, if you knew this was the case, but did not specifically reference gender discrimination, then it would be considered general bullying, which would be legal.

Employment-LawExpert :

It is discussed by the EEOC here:

Customer:

Thank you

Employment-LawExpert :

Glad I could get you pointed in the right direction. Before you go, please do not forget to provide a positive rating so that I may receive credit for assisting you today. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Customer:

Sure, will do. Thank you you've been incredibly helpful. If I log on again, will I be put in contact with you or someone else?

Employment-LawExpert :

If you just ask a question it will go to the first expert available. If you would like to request me specifically, you can do so here: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-accident-expert/

Employment-LawExpert :

If I am offline another expert will assist you. If you would like to ask for me and only me, you can state for Brandon only specifically in your question

Employment-LawExpert :

In that situation if I have not responded to you in a timely manner please feel free to relist the question and another expert will assist you. However, I usually will respond within 24 hours of any question you may have.

Customer:

Thanks again, have a great day

Employment-LawExpert :

You too

Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1807
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
Brandon, Esq. and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
 
 
 

Related Employment Law Questions